0L here. I'd love to work in finance before law school, and have always been attracted to WS/GS/etc. I'm especially horrible in math, though. The highest grade I've ever earned in a math class, which was Stats 1 if I remember correctly, was a B-.
I'm also studying philosophy. Theres no chance, right?
If you are a UG and you want to work for a BB the best way to go about that is to have an exceptional GPA from a university where they do on-campus recruiting (otherwise you will need to be a networking ninja and go to places where they do recruit). Math isn't all that hard for IB, but with that being said, you need at least basic math skills. Pre-crisis, UG major didn't matter much at all because the practical skills you would learn on the job and engineers were of high value because of their capacity to work hard, learn quickly, and affinity to math (but BBs would hire majors that would run the gamut, be they english to history, to even art history...as long as you can prove that you can put in the ungodly hours and will be able to follow directions without asking questions). But, now, you pretty much need a finance background to get into a middle-market/boutique and BBs are still semi-lenient when it comes to majors, but they would much rather have a finance person over someone else.
[EDIT] but keep in mind, the market is terrible right now and possibly worse than the legal job market...experienced bankers are being fired and so they are being released into the pool of candidates for other finance jobs making it hard for someone with no experience to land anything.
My grades are decent overall and seem to be on an upward trend as well. I'd be willing to put in the hours and follow directions, sure. Its just that my school's reputation is largely regional, and far from the best in the state (or its region, actually). I'm planning on moving out of state after graduating, so I guess I'd have no advantage on that front.
Just for future reference, everyone will be saying they can put in the hours and work hard when it comes to any job really, but especially IB (and BigLaw, for that matter). I always envisioned BigLaw being similar in this sense but I am unsure if it is exactly the same: but, for IB at least, it comes down to having a high enough UG GPA from a prestigious enough school to land an interview with a BB->then interviewing for an IB position is much different than any other type of interview (or at least for someone like me who is coming from an engineering background). Firstly, your resume needs to be formatted correctly (they are very anal about this); secondly, there are predefined questions that you must know and have rehearsed over and over and over and over again (walk me through your resume; walk me through a DCF; explain EBITDA to me; etc.). Once you've gotten to the interviewing stage, it really comes down to fit, and whether or not these guys think they want to go out for drinks with you after a 20 hour stint at the office. These are some of the most highly sought after jobs coming out of UG and in this economic climate, they are even more scarce than they normally are. It is a painful job that, for most people, does not lead to a career in and of itself, but rather, is a stepping stone to a real
job. The biggest take aways from IB are $$$, learning to be responsible and accountable (you must be on call and have your blackberry in-hand 24 hours a day, every day), and learning to burn the midnight oil (although this is something you probably already know how to do if you even got the job). As an analyst, it is not interesting and you are not a deal-maker by any means. It is certainly not a glamorous job (aside from the mad duckets you're makin) and even the money isn't that
good ITE. Bonuses have been slashed quite a bit recently.